Here are our picks for the top local stories to start your day:

View Photo Gallery: Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains are arriving on time for frequently, according to a new report.

Improvements on the “hell train,” even as ridership increases. In 2010, substantial delays and a notorious breakdown earned MARC the dubious nickname. Now, nine of 10 trips are on time.

Alleged Va. Crips charged in teen prostitution ring. The alleged gang members recruited girls from Fairfax County on Facebook, in school and at bus stops, then forced them to stay through threats and violence, authorities say.

Six firms picked to grow D.C. medical marijuana. All are in Northeast Washington; one is partly owned by Montel Williams. There’s no word yet on dispensaries.

Coming up today on PostLocal:

— A case that is pitting conservationists against Falls Church’s Great Wall Supermarket, which sells live animals including bullfrogs, crayfish, and swamp eel, is in court today. Store managers have been charged under a Virginia law that aims to protect native species.

Budget negotiations continue in the Virginia legislature. The General Assembly, in the second week of a special session, hopes to pass a two-year, $85 billion spending plan next week.

— Prosecutors in the case of the March 2010 shooting spree in Southeast Washington could wrap up Friday.

Weekend preview:

View Photo Gallery: A 20-foot, stainless steel statue of the D.C. native and jazz legend was installed on Thursday in Ellington Plaza.